I watched Dear Enemy because I enjoyed Go Lala Go!, the first film of Xu Jing Lei and Stanley Huang. In fact, Dear Enemy is described as some sort of an upgraded version of Go Lala Go!
I understand the need for an “upgrade” to avoid being accused of just replicating Go Lala Go!, which was successful at the boxoffice. And by upgrade, they meant a slight modification in the cast with the inclusion of Gigi Leung (now relegated to playing support roles, how sad is that) and throwing more convoluted sub-plots here and there such as the cut-throat competition in investment banking, stocks and other business/finance terminology that only served to isolate the audience. Unless they were making this film for those finance guys who wanted to take a breather and laugh at the absurdity of it all? Xu Jinglei, who not only played the lead female role and directed this one but also wrote the script and produced it–whew–said she consulted bankers in writing the script. So perhaps that explains why there’s a lot of Greek that went on onscreen.
The novelty of Go Lala Go! is gone with Dear Enemy with the fancy camera work that made it look quirky and sleek. This time around, it looks even more like an MTV, or worst, a TVC with all those ad placements. In Go Lala Go!, the advertisement was still subtle (Dove chocolates for one) and not in-your-face but here, it just felt like I paid to watch an advertisement. Oh, actually, I didn’t since I watched it online.
It also looked like a travelogue with the leads flying all over from Hong Kong to Shanghai to London and to the mines and the outback of Australia. At a certain point, I felt pity for people who live that kind of life. They’re loaded, get to travel business class, drives around chauffeured (just be careful the driver is not an industry spy), dine in expensive restaurants, but live with stress and high pressure. Do they really enjoy it? The characters are so difficult to relate with, not so much because of the high-flying lives they live, but they just look like robots being played out onscreen. Where did the natural charm that was very prevalent in Go Lala Go!, well, go?
Watch the movie here. (This site is currently my favorite source of entertainment.)
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